Long lines create high tensions as New Yorkers rush to get their free-at home COVID tests

Lines were wrapping around buildings in Brooklyn and the Bronx as people tried to get their hands on free at-home COVID tests just hours before Christmas Eve.

News 12 Staff

Dec 23, 2021, 5:19 PM

Updated 944 days ago

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Lines were wrapping around buildings in Brooklyn and the Bronx as people tried to get their hands on free at-home COVID tests just hours before Christmas Eve.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday the city's latest efforts to stop the spread, launching five distribution sites handing out free at-home COVID tests in each borough. With only about 2,000 at-home test kits to hand out, tensions ran high.
The rush for New Yorkers to get their test led to arguing, fighting and miscommunication. Some were waiting and not exactly sure if they were at the right location. In the Bronx, tests were being given out on both sides of the road at the distribution location in Soundview. There was also a vaccine bus present.
The Department of Health has not responded on the confusion and mixed messaging for distribution locations in the Bronx.
However, the convenience of testing at home as opposed to going to an urgent care is what many people say brought them out to get a kit.
While there may have been hundreds of people in line, tests kits were successfully handed out quickly in Brooklyn compared to the hours that people say they waited at various urgent care locations to get tested.
With concerns of the Omicron variant rising and the city reaching record highs for COVID positivity rates, people say it's better to be safe as they plan to gather with family this Christmas weekend.


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